And we’re back. Welcome to the eleventh edition of our weekly recap for the 2024 US presidential election, aka, the one place where you can find all of the most important news and updates pertaining to the impending democratic transition of power—or as we like to call it, the autumn bloodbath.
This week, we’ve decided to focus all of our attention on the Republican frontrunner, former US president, tangerine stan, and all-in-all bad guy, Donald Trump. If you thought that Trump’s success in the 2016 elections was nothing short of a miracle, you’ll be horrified to hear that it looks like he’s having an even more triumphant second lap around the sun.
On Tuesday 16 January, Trump won by a complete landslide in the first, and arguably one of the most crucial Republican contests leading up to the election. Iowa is always the first caucus in the election cycle and Trump’s 51 per cent victory will undoubtedly give the former president a massive ego boost.
According to the BBC, Trump won the most votes in all but one of Iowa’s 99 counties (he lost the other by a single vote). No one has prevailed in an Iowa contest by more than 12 points before. The two other Republican nominees, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, gained 19 per cent and 21 per cent of the votes respectively.
Moreover, Trump’s win reflected the politician’s ability to continuously win over broad swathes of society, from older conservatives to young Gen Z right-wing believers. It’s truly no understatement to say that Trump’s excessive legal woes are emboldening and fuelling voters as opposed to dissuading them.
While this is only the beginning, Trump’s camp will definitely be pleased to see these results. Plus, the Iowa win will undoubtedly give Trump the ammunition to try and delay and disrupt court proceedings. It’s almost as if he’s being turned into some kind of political martyr, someone who is clearly desired by the people, and it’s simply that the establishment is out to get him and silence him. I’m starting to sound like every other Truth Social post Trump writes.
One of the things that still remains a genuine possibility is that we might see a recurrence of the 6 January 2021 Capitol attack. The US is only getting more and more radicalised when it comes to right-wing fanatics. Plus, the Trump mob mentality has never been stronger. Therefore, Trump’s loss or potential omission from the election in any way could legitimately spark riots and violence.
Moreover, Trump’s own attorneys have warned the Supreme Court that a ruling to disqualify him from 2024 ballots would “unleash chaos and bedlam.”
In a brief to the court, the former president’s legal team emphasised that “the Court should put a swift and decisive end to these ballot-disqualification efforts, which threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans.”
As we discovered in week nine of our recaps, Colorado’s Supreme Court, in an unprecedented move, ruled that Trump’s candidacy in the state’s primary in 2024 was unconstitutional in alignment with Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. In short, the ruling is directly in correlation with Trump’s involvement in the January insurrection.
Some other Republican politicians, such as Mitch McConnell, have stated that they also think Colorado should reverse its decision. The Supreme Court has yet to make a decision, but the verdict will most definitely have an enormous impact on the upcoming election.
Speaking with Al Jazeera, Barbara Perry, professor of presidential studies at the University of Virginia, predicts that the conservative-stacked Supreme Court will ultimately decide in Trump’s favour: “I think it’s highly likely that they will. Typically, political scientists have found across the board that justices tend to follow the ideology of their appointing president 70 to 80 per cent of the time.”
Can Trump quite literally get away with anything? It’s starting to feel more and more like that is the case.